Bars & Restaurants in Illinois can open for Outdoor seating when Phase 3 begins


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Bars & Restaurants across the State can open outdoor dining, beginning at the end of the month.

“Epidemiologists now believe summer offers us an opportunity if proper precautions are taken by businesses and their patrons.” Gov. Pritzker said today. “Tragically, (Bars & Restaurants) were some of the first and hardest hit by this pandemic. It’s been important to me to reopen them, but only if it can be done in a way that keeps its employees and customers safe.”

Restaurants and Bars can reopen on May 29th with extended IDPH guidelines, including keeping tables six feet apart, avoiding sidewalks, and having masks and social distancing measures in place for staff. Additional precautions and guidance will be issued by the State in the coming days.

The City of Joliet submitted a similar plan to the Governors office less than one week ago.

“Today’s announcement provides a glimmer of light at the end of this very dark tunnel.” Sam Toia, President and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association. “The Governor’s action to allow for expanded outdoor dining options will be a benefit to many at a time when every dollar counts.”

The Pritzker Administration said today over $14 million in small business grants averaging $20,000 to 699 bars, restaurants, and hotels across 270 individual cities in Illinois. The Governor encouraged Municipalities throughout the state to do what they can to assist restaurants and bars at this time.

“Let’s close down streets, let’s expand sidewalk cafes, let’s use parking lots and public space. Let’s show the world how innovative Illinois can be.” Toia said. 

Toia says earlier in his statement by the most conservative estimate, 20-25% of restaurants will close their doors for good as a result of COVID-19. 

Outdoor Activities

With the start of phase 3, all state parks will reopen on May 29.  All concession will reopen as well under guidelines set for our retail and food service businesses in Phase 3. Illinois will permit the re-opening of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) safety precautions and capacity limits.
For golf, in Phase 3, courses can allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Carts will also be permitted with one person per cart, or one immediate household per cart.
With the new ten person gathering limit for all activities in Phase 3, boating or camping with up to ten people will be permitted.
The state will be providing guidance on how other outdoor recreational businesses, such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, and paintball courses can safely open their doors in Phase 3.

Health Clubs, Gyms, Retail, and Personal Care Services

In Phase 3, health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people.
Personal care services, like nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.
And all retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.
Local governments retain the right to establish stricter restrictions in any areas.


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